LONDON – A lot of fear of losing and a lot of pride at Wembley, where England and Scotland drew 0-0 in a duel with more history on the field than off it. The “Tartan Army” showed its face, drowned the English and signed a draw that leaves them alive and with their heads high in the Eurocup.
There will be better ones, there will be worse ones, but few matches so far in the European Championship like England-Scotland. The atmosphere in the stands was worth everything. The emotional factor was the most important. So much so that the tie satisfied both of them. It is worth to England to play the first place in the group on the last day, to Scotland to make up the history, forget the disastrous result of 96 and stay with options against Croatia.
And it is that in an England-Scotland it did not matter what happened on the lawn that there was always going to be a throat singing. On one side was blowing the “Flower of Scotland”, but the Scots could not replicate the almost 20,000 people of “God Save the Queen”. They had to settle for whistling the fans who started with the “Three Lions”. In many moments of the game the most interesting thing happened in the stands and not on the field.
England, aware of their supposed superiority, came out eagerly, chest first. Scotland naive, not realizing they weren’t that far behind. It almost cost them the game. A corner put by Mason Mount was finished only by John Stones, in an unbeatable position, but to the crossbar.
From there, just in the first minutes, England deflated. It fell into the plot of Steve Clarke, who brought out the best thing about the Scots, pride. Without much quality up front, but with the impetus of the Robertsons, Tierney, McGinn and the precociousness of Billy Gilmour, Scotland competed face to face and brushed the goal with a cross to the far post that O’Donnell hooked. An almost perfect volley that brought out Pickford’s saving mitt.
Only the lack of talent in the last quarter of the field prevented them from aspiring to test the Everton goalkeeper more. And also one thing happened to them, pride lasts forever, gasoline does not. As the minutes passed, the game began to break down. There was more room for the English, but each corner against was like a shake for them. Even more so when they began to be taken from the side where the ‘Tartan Army’ animated. In the first of the second half, Reece James had to get under the sticks a header from Lyndon Dykes.
Without Kane, missing, without Sterling, bland, and hoping that Jack Grealish would fix it all off the bench, England settled. Aware that the draw was not bad to play the first place with the Czechs. Scotland wanted more, and they savored it with a shot from Che Adams ten minutes from time that could well have ended in the net, but the 0-0 also serves them.
It gives them faith to beat Croatia on the last day and allows them to redeem themselves at Wembley, where they succumbed 25 years ago and where this time they held out on their feet. With little football, but a lot of pride.